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Ladysmith issues permit to allow for 66-unit residential development

Council allows height variance for Christie Road project
A rendering of a proposed development on Christie Road. (Birliga Crespo Architecture image)

Ladysmith town council voted unanimously to allow for a height variance to advance a Christie Road development that would create 66 homes.

Council, at a meeting Nov. 15 at the Ladysmith Seniors Centre, voted to issue a development variance permit for properties at 1201 and 1251 Christie Rd., bordering the highway and Grouhel Road.

The owners are planning 66 residential units including a three-storey 51-unit building and three townhouse structures totalling 15 units.

The variance is to increases the height of the multi-unit structure from the town’s 10-metre requirement to 12.5 metres. Staff recommended approval, noting that the increase in the height would allow for a more esthetically pleasing roofline.

Coun. Ray Gourlay excused himself from this discussion as prior to being elected to council, he had sent correspondence to the town in support of the proposal.

Another development variance permit applications on the agenda pertained to 260 Bayview Ave. The applicants were requesting a rear property setback from 7.5 metres to 2.9m, as they wishing to subdivide the lot into two parcels.

According to a staff report, following subdivision, both properties would meet the allowable minimum lot size of 0.07 hectares and the minimum frontage.

Coun. Tricia McKay noted that there are quite a few properties along Bayview that have created such lots from the original larger ones and that the existing property would have more than ample room on all other sides except at the back if the subdivision went through.

Staff’s recommendation to grant the variance was approved unanimously by council.

RCMP reports on staff resources and policing priorities

Ladysmith RCMP was invited to the council meeting and shared information about operations and priorities moving forward.

Sgt. Tim Desaulniers, interim commander of the Ladysmith RCMP detachment, presented a report at the meeting. Desaulniers, a resident of Ladysmith since 1997, was promoted to corporal while in Ladysmith, but more recently he had been overseeing the Shawnigan Lake RCMP. With Ladysmith RCMP’s staff sergeant on leave, Desaulniers will be filling in as commander.

The Ladysmith RCMP’s jurisdiction includes the Town of Ladysmith, the area north to Nanaimo River and south to Saltair, and they also includes Penelakut Island. The local force consists of 14 members and five office staff. Desaulniers said the detachment is short four constables, two corporals and an office staff member, “but are working on getting that back up to strength.”

He said reconciliation and member/employee wellness are some areas of focus in addition to crime reduction with a focus on enforcement related to impaired driving. He advised that over the past few months, there has been a rash of catalytic converter thefts.

Cannabis retail store application allowed to move ahead

A referral for a cannabis retail store at Coronation Square was next on the council agenda. The application is referred to local government by the province and a licence cannot be granted if there is not a positive response from the town.

Staff advised council that the location fell within the zoning bylaw and the general feeling of council was that the market should determine whether a business can survive or not.

Councillors listen to noise suppression bylaw discussion

The town’s noise suppression bylaw was addressed at the meeting.

Staff had been contacted by residents and after looking into the matter, agreed that the existing bylaw did not have practical noise limit for heat pumps. Staff are recommending that the allowable noise limit be raised to 60 decibels for all times of day. It was also found that the existing construction noise exemption is hard to work within and is more restrictive than other jurisdictions. Staff proposed an extension of one hour to the current bylaw. There was no discussion on the item and it passed unanimously.